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Ken (健, けん)

One of four qualities according to which a brush should be chosen. The remaining three are: 尖 (せん, sen, i.e. “pointed”), 斉 (せい, sei, i.e. “similar (uniform)”), and 円 (えん, en, i.e. “round”). The brush needs to be healthy and full of vigour. Ken (健), in Japanese, means “health”. The virtue of “ken” suggests that the hair of a good quality brush (especially at the tuft base) should be flexible and responsive. No damaged hairs should be visible. Also, the brush axis should be straight and free of cracks. Bamboo shafts tend to crack, especially when they get extensively wet while washing the brush, or when they are exposed to direct sunlight.

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Page last modified on November 04, 2011, at 07:17 AM